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Locals discuss lake discharges on Everglades Day

Posted at 11:38 AM, Apr 07, 2016

Stuart residents are marking Everglades Day by asking to stop the Lake Okeechobee discharges.

On Thursday morning, a group of supporters gathered along the St. Lucie River to talk about the alternatives.

The Everglades Foundation, which organized the event, says moving the water south is the only solution.

Many reiterated that sentiment, including a family who says they moved back to Stuart to enjoy the river, yet fear it isn’t safe for their daughters to enjoy.

Karessa Kernan relocated in the midst of the problems in 2013. Talking about it, brought her to tears.

“They don’t get to do a lot of the things that I got to do as a kid and experience the same things that my husband got to do on the water as a kid.” Kernan said. “I’m afraid to even go across the street and let them play in the fountain."

Aside from moving the water south from Lake Okeechobee to Florida Bay, locals say we need more federal money to match that of our state. According to advocates Florida has outspent the feds on protecting the estuaries affected by the discharges.

Established by the Florida Legislature in 2012, Everglades Day is held on the birthday of Marjory Stoneman Douglas to honor the unique environmental and economic benefits of the nation's largest subtropical wilderness.